Scott Walker In Dead Heat For Re-Election

2013 Conservative Political Action Conference

A new poll shows that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is looking to have a tough re-election bid on his hands after a spring and summer in which he was in the headlines over an investigation involving campaign finance improprieties:

Dead heat.

That’s what Wisconsin is staring at in the race for governor, with Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke neck-and-neck heading into the November election, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

Among registered voters, Walker led Burke, 46% to 45%. Among likely voters, Burke led Walker, 47% to 46%.

“The bottom line is that nothing has statistically changed from May to July,” said Charles Franklin, the poll director. “We’re seeing a dead heat in the race, well within the margin of error.”

“As the race really heats up with advertising and back and forth, I’d expect to see interesting developments over the next months,” he added.

In the May sample, the race took shape as the Republican incumbent was first deadlocked with Burke, a member of the Madison School Board. The two candidates recorded 46% each, with 6% undecided. Back then, Walker led Burke among likely voters by 48% to 45%.

The new numbers suggest a long hot summer on the campaign trail, with more television advertising and even more intensive get-out-the-vote efforts by the campaigns.

Both RealClearPolitics and PollTracker show the race as basically a dead heat, which possibly suggests that the material that was released earlier this summer may have had some impact on the race, even though prosecutors have made clear that Walker is not a target of the the investigation, and investigation which has since been shut down.

Given the fact that Walker is someone frequently mentioned as a potential Presidential candidate on the Republican side, this race will likely get a lot of attention from the media and both political parties between now and November. Obviously, if Walker loses then the prospect of his being a viable candidate for President is basically finished. As I’ve said before, though, Walker has been down in the polls before and he’s come back and won. Twice since 2010. It would be foolish to count him out now, especially in a year when the electorate is likely to be favorable to the GOP.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    As John Paul Jones didn’t say, “The Koch Brothers have not yet begun to spend!”

  2. Tillman says:

    I recall the story from back at his recall election that people disposed to vote against him voted for him then because they didn’t like the tactic of using a recall. This explained why his recall electoral margin was larger than his original election.

    Presumably, those people would be Burke voters now.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    Obviously, if Walker loses then the prospect of his being a viable candidate for President is basically finished.

    I always thought that if Walker has any presidential aspirations running for reelection was risky. Even Mitt Romney figured that out.

  4. A.Men says:

    Scott Walker is a winner.

    you are a lousy writer!

  5. Molly says:

    @A.Men… by “winner” you mean to say Walker is a criminal. He is.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    Elections in Wisconsin are always close because of the small number of swing voters. Anyone who thought Walker would have an easy time has not been paying attention.

  7. al-Ameda says:


    Scott Walker is a winner.
    you are a lousy writer!

    I fail to see the ‘logic’ there.